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Brand New Heart/Spirit

Dr. Jon Morrissette - 4/28/2019

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” Last Sunday we entertained the possibility that maybe we’re not experiencing BRAND NEW LIFE because maybe instead of holding unto Christ, were holding unto things that are passing away.

Imagine a seed that never die, never sheds its shell, never germinates. If a seed doesn’t cast off the OLD, how can it ever experience the NEW?

Imagine a city clinging to her burned-out Cathedral with its ancient relics. What might it take to let go of the OLD, and take hold of the One who is greater than our Cathedrals/ Relics/ Temples/ Buildings?

Imagine a righteous man, priding himself in living a godly, lawful life, hoping to attain eternal life through fleshly effort. Imagine a teacher, whose invested himself in the life-long pursuit of knowledge. He has mastered Scripture, memorized the Torah, has all the right pedigrees. What might it take for such a man to let go of his pride, become born again, and take hold of the very righteousness of Christ… the very presence/power of God’s Holy Spirit?

Imagine a person, (like the woman at the well), clinging to relationship after relationship, thirsting for satisfaction, saying to herself, “maybe this is the guy…” What might it take for her to let go, and hold out her bucket to receive the Living Water that only Christ can give… water that wells up from within unto eternal life?

Imagine the crowds, in their hunger and thirst, chasing Jesus, demanding bread. What might it take for them to finally realize how Jesus is the Bread of Life—that on that cross Jesus offered his own flesh/blood, that we all might eat and live forever?

We DO NOT become BRAND NEW creations until our souls abide in Jesus. Our first order of business: we get into a relationship with Jesus. Jesus becomes our LIFE. He adopts us as his sons/daughters. He fills us with his Holy Spirit. And THEN the old fades and the new comes. If we wrap our souls around… if we fill our souls with anyone/ anything less than Jesus, we’ll keep coming up hungry and thirsty. Our soul belongs to the Lord, our soul was made for the Lord, and our soul is only satisfied in the Lord.

At home, I’ve kind of started a chainsaw collection. I never thought I’d get into chainsaw carving, but now its kind of a thing! Every chainsaw has two chambers. A chamber for bar/chain oil… and a chamber for gasoline. The bar/chain oil keeps the blade from overheating/warping/dulling. The gasoline of course fuels the engine. The caps are color coded and marked accordingly. Even a caveman should be able to tell which chamber gets which type of liquid. But every once in a while, I put the oil where the gas goes, and the gas where the oil goes!

Much like our soul, a chainsaw doesn’t roar to life unless we get the right things in the right places!

I always learn the hard way. What do you do, when you get things crisscrossed? You put the oil where the gas belongs, and the gas where the oil belongs? You put your old junk into the place where only Jesus should belong, and you put Jesus over where he should never belong? It’s so awesome. You simply pour out the old and pour in the new. No matter how many times you’ve tugged the rope trying to run your life with the old… the moment you put Christ into the center of your life, it roars back to life. [It might smoke and cough a little at first, but your life will run like BRAND NEW.]

I love this verse in Acts 3:19-20, “Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah.” Get Jesus into the right place, and God takes care of the rest. We become New Creations! When it comes to our soul, there is no substitute for Jesus Christ. Nothing else will do.

This morning I want to expand our conversation. 1 Corinthians 5:17 provides a great starting point. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” But there is so much more about our lives that we must consider. In Ezekiel 36:26 God promises his people, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

I wonder if you’ve ever noticed this thing Christians do. We’re perfectly willing to give our soul to Jesus, but not our heart, our mind, our body, or our relationships. It doesn’t work that way. Jesus commands us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, body and soul, and to love our neighbors too. God wants to make us brand new through and through, not just partially new.

How many times in a week do our hearts become stubborn and calloused, like stone? The Lord says “forgive” … but I don’t want to forgive! The Lord says “love” … but I don’t feel so loving! The Lord says “don’t grow weary in doing good” but I decide to take a break. The Lord says, “Don’t forsake the assembly” … but I want to stay in bed, “Please Lara don’t make me go preach!” The Holy Spirit says, “Chill out Jon… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” The Holy Spirit says, “Dude, there is totally a way out, you aren’t being tempted beyond what you can endure!” But there the heart goes…

Can the soul exist in one reality, but the heart exists in an entirely other reality? Can our soul belong to Jesus, but our heart still belong to us? One of God’s promises is to give us a BRAND NEW HEART! God says I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will give a new heart and put a new spirit in you. Yes Lord! Please Lord! Thank you, Lord! I want my heart to sing the same song my soul sings!

Whenever I’ve asked God to give me a BRAND NEW HEART, he always has. But there have been so many times I’ve waited way too long to ask. Sometime go to an online Bible (like www.Biblegateway.com) and do a Bible search for “heart.” The Bible has so many things to say about the heart, it will blow your mind.

Proverbs 4:23 (CSB) says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source/ wellspring of life.” The (NIV) says, “Guard your heart above all else, because everything you do flows from it [your heart].” Maybe that’s why Jesus puts the heart first on the list when he tells us how to love God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart. If the heart it right, everything else will be right.

In Matthew 15:19, Jesus warned how “from the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander.” WHOA! How did all that stuff get in there in the first place? If you’re a parent, the first time your kid cusses it drives you crazy. You’re like, “Where did that come from? Who taught you that?” Once the heart is captivated by a thing, it’s virtually impossible to eradicate it. In Jeremiah 17:9 were told, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” In Matthew 6:23 Jesus says, “If the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness!”

Our culture is always telling us, “Just follow your heart.” Just because something is in your heart doesn’t mean it is holy, or righteous, or good, or beneficial, or worthy. The Bible says, “Guard your heart. Seek God with all your heart. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body, and soul.” Instead of following our hearts we should be praying… “Lord govern my heart. Lord lead my heart.” In Psalm 51:10 David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.’”

You know fishing season is upon us. I should probably get my fishing license and boat license. Every year they come up with new stuff to help you fish better. For most of my life, I used a certain kind of fishing reel designed for shore-fishing—casting away from the bank. But when I started fishing from a boat, my old rod/reel just wouldn’t cut it. I couldn’t control the lure very well. So, one night I went fishing with Tony Waters—and Tony is a Bass Pro. He was whipping his lure in and out of the docks, up alongside rocks, under branches, over branches. . . he was a fish-catching machine!

There is nothing more tormenting than being on a boat with some guy catching everything and you not catching anything! But Tony showed me his secret weapon. It was called a “Baitcaster.” I immediately went out and bought one. But then first night on the lake… something terrible happened… it’s called a birds-nest! One good bird nest can wreck your whole day of fishing! Sometimes despite our best effort to guard our hearts, they become one gigantic tangled birds-nest. No heart is ever too messy for God to heal. If we’d pray “Create in me a pure heart” we’d find God faithful to answer.

There are certain things that cause our hearts to Birds-Nest.

Our FLESH Can Entangle our Hearts. Isn’t it amazing how powerfully our cravings can bird nest our hearts? Hunger pains. In the wilderness, Jesus was tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread. Remember that old jingle? “Whatever it is I think I see, becomes a tootsie roll to me.” For Jesus in the wilderness it was, “Whatever it is I think I see, becomes a loaf of bread to me.” Such is the powerful nature of addiction—it can become all-consuming, all-enslaving. Some compulsions become so powerful they collapse a person’s judgment and render them powerless. Maybe the miracle you need today is for God to untangle your heart from your fleshly compulsions. That compulsion might be for Carbs, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caffeine, or Nicotine… it might be alcohol, hard liquor, cocaine, marijuana. I spoke to a friend who lost 80 pounds recently. I asked her “how did you do it?” She said, “Prayer. I pray before every bite, ask God for help.” There isn’t a single fleshly entanglement God cannot deliver you from if you’d ask.

Our FEARS can Entangle our Hearts. Worry about our life—what we will eat, drink, or wear. Anxiety about our circumstances—marriage issues, parenting issues, personal issues, work issues, legal issues, political issues. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of being judged. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of being abandoned. Fear of being left out. Fear of being alone, growing old. Fear of intimacy. Fear of loss. Fear of life passing you by. Fear of lost opportunity. Fear of death.

I was talking to a friend yesterday, who is also a pastor. He told me about this small child, who asked a room full of her peers to pray for her. Just a little girl! She said, “Would you guys pray that I’ll have peace?” You can’t relax. The anxiety consumes you. Panic, depression sets in. You can’t sleep. You lack confidence. Your health suffers. Your memory fails. You can’t focus. You can’t function. There isn’t a single Fear God cannot untangle you from if you’d ask. You’d better ask! “Lord Create in me a pure heart!”

Our FOCUS can Entangle our Hearts. It’s not just negative that can entangle our hearts, its seemingly good things. You want to please your husband/wife, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your children, your boss, a friend. Pleasing people can become all-consuming. We want to be successful. We want to get healthy and become fit. We want to be beautiful. We want to be recognized. We want to be successful. We want to be the best. We want to be followed, to be loved. “Lord Create in me a pure heart!”

Besides prayer, the one other thing that powerfully untangles our heart is Scripture. You sense your heart growing calloused. You find a quiet place and begin reading the Bible, and boom! Hebrews 4:12-13 says, “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” “No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.”

I don’t think we understand what tremendous healing is available to us if we’d take up God’s word and read, if we’d take to our knees and pray.

Imagine you go to the doctor for a heart-check. The technology is so amazing. They can see exactly what’s wrong and fix about everything. They pump that dye into your veins. Maybe there is a blockage. Maybe you need bypasses. Maybe there is a malfunctioning valve. Maybe your heart isn’t firing properly, and you need a pacemaker. Whenever you have a heart problem, they don’t mess around. They put you at the top of the list. They whisk you into the operating room. WHY? The heart is the wellspring of life. If the heart goes bad, everything else goes bad.

If you had a heart problem, you wouldn’t think twice about getting it taken care of. But if we have a spiritual heart problem, why would we care any less? If we would take up the word, that’s your heart scan, it perfectly exposes the attitudes of our heart. If we would take to our knees and pray, God would cut out our old calcified heart of stone and give you a BRAND NEW HEART of flesh!

What have we talked about thus far in this series BRAND NEW YOU?

God’s Promise. Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!”

God’s Promise. Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Our Prayer. Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.’”


Scripture Verses

2 Corinthians 5:17, Acts 3:19-20, Ezekiel 36:26, Jeremiah 17:9, Psalms 51:10

Worship Playlist

  • This is Amazing Grace
  • Glorious Day 
  • Build My Life
  • King of My Heart

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